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Thread: Home Centracom project

  1. #1
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    Default Home Centracom project

    I have decided to piece together a Centracom Gold Elite for my home office.

    I understand that it is a big project and I am in the process of trying to track down the manuals so that I can do things right, but in the interest of going down the right path in the meantime, I have a couple of questions.

    It is my understanding that I cannot use a regular mobile radio with the console, and that I need to use consolettes. What I am planning to do is to use Astro Spectra consolettes for my main base radios. These will be used in both P25 and Analog mode. What I would like to do is have a control head on my desktop that I can use to remotely control the two main base radios. I want to maintain the ability to change channels, scan, use encryption, etc while still having PTT and audio through the centracom. Is this possible, and can you even attach a mobile W9 control head to a consolette if it is a W9 model?

    I assume that I am going to have to use DIU3000's since I will be using the radios in P25 mode, but will I be able to use the radios in analog mode as well since I will have control via a control head?

    Thanks!


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    You will not need consolette's if you use your plan of putting the control head on the desk. You will just use local control (tx/rx audio and ptt)

    You also will not need a diu.
    "Don't worry about what I am, cause I'm a state agent so what you need to do is make sure your doing the right thing **** boy" -J. Dewitte

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    I can't find any pics for the life of me, but here in Toronto - the Toronto Fire command truck has a Centracom console which is tied to 6 Astro Spectra mobiles. The console shows "Radio 1", "Radio 2", etc... And each Spectra control head has a sticker labeled as Radio 1, etc...

    This gives them full console functionality while they can change the talkgroup on each radio to whatever they require.

    Really a nice setup actually.

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    Excellent, that is great news!

    I just need local control of the main base radios, the other radios on the console (all analog) will be single-channel radios using Maxtracs or Desktracs, whichever ends up being easier. I would love to not have to use any consolettes at all due to space constraints in my racks.

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    Interesting project. If it works out, I'd be curious to know how well as I'd love to do the same sort of thing!

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    Bazinga here we go.

    This is their old setup - the new one uses different control heads - but it is essentially the same thing.

    http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2661/4...4fe4ddb6_o.jpg

    I just noticed as well, on the right hand side of the console there's one of those cellular clip style microphones. Whenever an operator is transmitting from this vehicle (they use it at any large fire/event) their audio sounds absolutely horrible as if they're sitting 10 feet from the mic. I guess this explains why...

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    Wow... that is one way to do it. Looks like it won't be as bad as I initially thought!

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    Totally looks like something from an ARES truck doesn't it?

    I guess for this setup, they just tie in the TX/RX audio along with the PTT from the console to each radio. I can't imagine that being all that difficult - and if those are the only hookups required, there's no reason why it shouldn't work with just about any radio - even non Motorola gear.

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    One other question... anyone know what the functional difference in the B1809 and B1822 CIE boxes are? Looks like the B1822 is an "Inbound Event Display" model, but i'm not sure how that affects my project, if at all.

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    Unless you have all the furniture already, if what you want to do is similar to the picture posted above, you could easily obtain a surplus CommandPLUS console and tie in radios with a tone-remote. That was my setup a few years back. Tied in to ASTRO Spectra consolettes and CDM series mobiles.

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    AFAIK a CIE is a CIE is a CIE. Don't trust that eBay ad to properly describe it. Either model should work, one of those model numbers likely includes a CORI inside for off-prem/modem backhaul operation, doesn't affect it's operation with a standard CEB.

    That Toronto thing is actually a Motorola DISPATCHER, which was Centracom II in a very minimalist configuration. DISPATCHER would have been "Centracom II Limited" if they'd named it properly. CEB came in a compa-station cabinet with a single power supply.

    What a horrid little configuration they've created there.

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    Excellent, thanks d119.

    The Toronto setup is a little wacky, but it's good to know that such a limited configuration will work. If I can manage and not have to use any consolettes, I would like to keep the whole shebang including the radios in a 35U rack.

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    It's totally an in-house creation. Toronto Fire is known for kludging together stuff that Motorola doesn't necessarily support/endorse. One comical example - the radio shop that did their system made up "mobile repeaters" that used a conventional Maxtrac to repeat their trunked 800MHz stuff to portables for in-building coverage. I'll let you guess how great that worked.

    In the "avionics bay" of that RV/command vehicle are the 6 radio decks that feed into a box about a foot and a half wide, 2 feet tall and a foot deep.

  14. #14
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    You can also just put a tone remote adapter on the radio, and use standard BIM's. I had a series two plus in my basement plus a CRT position in my up stairs office for a few years....did away with the electronics as running a CEB and operator position got heavy on the electric bill. I'll have to look, I might still have my Gold Elite service manuals and factory training manuals.

  15. #15
    Jon No Longer Registered

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    I have a Gold Elite setup at my house. I use BIMs using tone control to control mobile radios with tone remote adapters, but you can add AUX II boards above the BIM and program the resource with the capability for "relay keying" for local control. With tone control, I can control up to 14 frequencies on the radios with the proper tone remote adapter. For Astro Consolettes, I believe you can use ACIM control which will allow you to choose significantly more channels but you need a separate modem board for it to work, you also get Astro IDs. No DIU's will be needed since the digital modulation is done in the radio. If you were using Quantars as your transmitters would be an example of a case where DIU's are needed because they do not vocode audio.

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    I would like to do the same thing with a gold elite at my house, however I think I'm going to end up with a command plus instead due to cost.